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mercoledì 8 settembre 2010

Eliminate the Digital Divide in Africa. Paul English.

Connecting to the Internet quickly check email, read the latest news and surfing the net to find information: Internet access now seems something normal. And many would feel lost without. Not so, however, throughout the world. Africa, for example, continues to be a continent where difficult access to the network. So now is born a new project that hopes to increase the spread of Internet in the South.

The idea is of Paul English, co-founder of Kayak, a search engine (also Italian version) for travel arrangements and then choose the cheapest option. English now has a new ambition: to bring African countries to the opportunities offered by the web. The African continent, in fact, still far behind in terms of information, with only 8, 7% of the population having access to the Internet. Not just for costs but also for the bandwidth available is very limited.
So he founded JoinAfrica.org Paul English, a project that will study the possibility of setting up wi-fi in Africa with two different access levels: the first is non-profit, completely free, and allows simple functions (such as control mail) and the second level allows complete access to the internet but this second phase will be run by African entrepreneurs.
The project is just beginning, but should work with the free wireless access points in villages, with the possibility of reading encyclopedias or online news sites should be limited and a number of such accesses to pornographic sites. The second phase, managed by local telephone companies, will instead make use of some paid services. The dissemination project of the Internet will last ten years and the reason Paul English has called "a big, big project." He is not new challenges, especially those related to network and over the past decade has acquired satellites, antennas and other equipment to bring Internet to several villages in Africa.
This project was launched thanks to a meeting with some graduates and students of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston. Since then English had no doubt want to complete the plan. Also because he could see in person, over the years he has worked in Africa, has changed the lives of some Africans through technology. For example, a doctor, unable to diagnose dermatitis was able to send a photo to a doctor in Boston and from there to find the cure.
Neither English nor other subjects involved in the project but more like talking. Because after all FastCompany's article, for once, seem to have affected them. And the site it clearly says "this project has had more attention than we wanted."
Currently exploit investment and co-founder of Kayak seem attentive only to complete their project, which could totally change the way people live in the South.

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